Monday, October 8, 2007

What I needed, at that moment

I always wanted my blog to be the kind where the real meat was in the comments section, and it is happening lately--so thank you to everyone who takes the time out of their days and nights to come here!!!!

These comments sections are fueling new topics for me faster than I can get them all down, even if I had nothing to do all day but sit and here's one out of the last post's comment area:

I had two c sections in the hospital, and both times, here is what I think I needed to save me from the surgeon's knife--or at very least--what I wish I could go back and experience, try, and then feel something closer to peace regarding the whole things.

When I was ten centimeters dilated, and hooked up to every flipping birth-intervention device there is, EVERY SINGLE ONE YOU CAN HAVE, (I think) I needed this:

A big strong positive female presence to come into the room, and unplug me from everything. First she would have to be VERY stern--even a bit mean. She might need to grab my face hard in her hands and STARE into my eyes as all those intoxicants wore off. I even give her permission to smack me or shake me. Once she unplugged me, she would immediately give me a few homeopathics under the tongue and long, nourishing, icy cold drink of some amazing beverage--maybe a laborade or an iced tea or hell, even some RedBull. She would help me to stand up and rub out my neck and shoulders and back really well, and get me out of that fricking hospital gown. She'd lead me over to an area of the floor that had some carpet and a big birthing ball, and Id get on my hands and knees, with my face and upper body draped over the ball. She'd see to it that I had a ponytail holder and a fan blowing on me. She'd turn the lights way down, and she would go sit in a nearby rocking chair. My husband would immediately join me down on the carpet area and we would labor together. Id push and Id bellow and Id rock that baby down. Mickey would have come down just fine, little 39 weeker, little under 9 pounder, and my obstetrical history would be forever righted. Baby #4,Charlie, same thing--although he was huge, 12 pounds, he was still smaller headed and chested than Baby #3,Casey was who was born at home just fine.

I am not saying some carpet square on a hospital floor is my ideal birth. I like home, I like water, I like freedom, etc. I am talking about how in the hell I was going to get out of the upside-down-paralyzed-turtle-rape situation that I found myself in twice. I should have had midwifery care from my first baby on, but that is not what I am referring to here.

I often 'talk to' this imaginary woman, and wonder who she is. I can see her face and feel her presence here and there in my life. I'm not too into ghosts and stuff but she is very real and important to me. Maybe she is me when I am an old midwife. She is very tall and quite large, maybe 300 pounds. She has ruddy cheeks and dresses in flowy fabrics, and is quite strong and serious and powerful and forthright. She had darkish hair and smelled of dusty herbs and ivory soap.


phillipsmob said...

simply beautiful! I have 3 births turn out with moments of regret and sorrow. My next will be at home with a midwife and I will be engulfed by people who love me and are close to me, I cannot imagine the difference it will make! My 3rd birth was to be my "rebirth" to replace the mistakes and interventions of my 1st two, unfortunately it was replaced with abuse from an obstetrician. I planned my birth for 2 1/2 years and prepared for for 2 1/2 years! When the time came I labored beautifully until an OB tried to become in control and verbally abused me until I gave him. Thankfully my doula and husband brought me back from the less-than-a-minute loss of control and kept me focused on them as not to give into the doctor.

But, next time it will be nothing but beautiful! I want a homebirth sooo badly and cannot wait to have one.

Andrea said...

Beautiful post.

mm said...

I often feel at a loss for what to say in the comments area. You and RedSpiral constantly have me catching my breath...
I find myself tingling with the recognitian of all the emotions and thoughts... but I can never be as eloquent as the two of you.
I was cut first. My first child did some acrobatics and turned during labour, so what I needed most in my subsequent pregnancies was 'everything is going to be fine'... and of course, no one could tell me that for sure.
I wish that I could show this post to my mother... she doesn't like that I blog, and thinks I gave it up... the midwife who witnessed her entrance in to the world (Germany during the second world war), was 6'4" with dark hair and absolutely amazing! I have the only picture of her.... I like to believe she is the guardian angel at our births... watching over all the babies. =)
As always, a good post.
*oh and do you find yourself hollering at House of Babies/Baby Story/Maternity Ward.... I have been known to wake up my little ones with "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!!!"

Kelley said...

I finally quit watching those "real life" birth stories. I found that I wanted to reach into the TV and shake the woman, screaming "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING? YOU ARE GOING TO REGRET THIS FOREVER!!!!!)" Unfortunately, all it did was make me angry, which didn't make me a very nice mom later after my sweet kiddos woke up.

This was a wonderful post. You always say things in beautiful, though often hard, ways that make me think and make me grateful to be able to learn from your wisdom. The school of hard knocks is not only for ourselves, but hopefully for those who are watching. :) Thank you.

Angi said...

Maybe somehow this glorious midwife is a part of you, some side of you that is expressing itself. I don't know but I really feel the emotion coming through, it feels very familiar. I often have created visuals like this to help me heal from situations that were out of my control where I felt victimized. It's pretty amazing when you realize that this strength that you needed is inside your soul and if you ever needed her again she'd be there this time.

Actually I just thought of an exercise that I did during some healing of my own where I was told to write a letter from my adult self to the little girl I was (and who is still inside of me in a way). I was told to tell her all the things I would say to her if I was there for her like an adult should have been there for me and wasn't. This was one of the most cathartic experiences I have ever had. It put the power back in my hands and I actually realized that the little girl wasn't weak, she was amazingly strong to come through as well as she did...(I feel a little strange getting this personal, but it really was an amazing moment.)
(Of course I'm not saying at all that you were weak or should have done more...)
The letter was also very powerful in that it helped me see the strength my experience had given me, it gave me the ability to empathize with others, but even more, I knew that I would never let anyone I love go through that kind of painful situation alone...

Lei said...

Joy, you are on fire with your provocative writing and intense insights.
I, too, "reenvisioned" my first daughter's C-birth. In it, I was empowered and strong and respected and loved. It was quite healing.
I see you as a sage for so many women.

HW said...

Your posts are very thought provoking and have caused me to re-think many thinks I thought I was very firm on. I appreciate that.

I have spent a day considering this comment because I want to make sure it comes out respectfully.

I am concerned with the use of the word "rape" in your description. I have come across it a few times on different blogs by women who are unhappy with their medical/birth experiences. I know three women who have been raped; and I can't help but wonder how they would react to seeing the term used in such a way. I worry that by using it to describe an unpleasant (ok, more than unpleasant) experience regarding birth, it minimizes what these women went through with the horrendous attacks and thefts of their bodies and spirits.

Again, thanks for your insightful posts.

Morag said...

You have a midwife's heart, mama.
Love to you.

kris said...

"i was cut 1st" gosh, i have been all over today and it greaves me what i keep hearing. you know, sometimes i wonder if we will ever actually make a difference. then i think, of course we are, one birth at a time, but sometimes reading about what has already happened breaks my heart. i know these hurts are stepping stones, but i wish i could be the one there for every woman about to have a c-section, every women who just needs that little extra comfort, or little extra push to get over that place in labor where she is about to give in to some intervention she doesn't really want that is going to lead to a traumatic birth..

angtheflyingkiwi said...

Good for you! I totally agree...I've had 3 C-Sections...the 1st and "emergancy", the 2nd an elective (what was I thinking!) and the 3rd was a forced "elective"...I was due on Dec 25 and the only midwife who would take me on said she would only take me on if I had a c-section.

This time around (I'm due early March 08) I'm hoping and praying for a natural midwife says yes...if the OB gives me the go-ahead (grr), so we'll see!


emjaybee said...

Hey I dream about that presence too. It's me...and yours is you. Older, stronger, wiser. Our generation has had almost no older women to lead the way for us in childbirth, hold our hands, teach us about our strength, point out the lies we're being told. That's why we fall so often, and why we are so afraid and confused and scarred. We have to settle for being a link in the chain for our sisters and for the next generation.

CNH said...

I wonder all the time.....what would have happened if a just a couple of things had been in place in my life when Gabe was growing inside me. How different his birth would have been. How it would have changed me then, and not later when #3 came.

But I try to remember, this shit, the violence used against me, the horror of laying in a hospital bed hooked up to wires in my arm and wires on my arm and wires in my vagina and pinned under the glare of a fucking spotlight while I was told to PUSH HARDER and having my baby boy get stuck because, shit, I'd been laying on my back for 15 hours and pushing him into the side of my vagina instead of out...then finally the cut...

this all happened so I could be the kick-ass woman I am today.

Can I be bitter and thankful all at the same time???